Ah yes, Jason Akermanis….
I’m a little behind the news, I admit, but I have to comment on Jason Akermanis’ column.
Having just read the column in the Herald, a few things stand out.
Firstly, he is right in suggesting that coming out as an athlete presents some different challenges. We’ve seen the evidence in the low numbers and in the published accounts of those that have (Mark Tewksbury and his book Inside Out comes to mind). While we have made strides in the workplace, a team locker room is not the same environment. Obviously.
Secondly he suggests that the sport is not ready for it. Given his column, if his feelings represent those of footballers, then he is probably correct. Sadly.
But more than this, what struck me most is the homophobia inherent in his column. The discomfort in the locker room pales in comparison to the discomfort of spending your life hiding (and often hating) who you really are because of fear due to homophobia.
I’m so tired of everything gay being linked to sex. Sexual orientation is ONE part of a human being’s identity. We all have a sexual orientation. Straight people are not attracted to everyone of the opposite sex that they meet, nor are they scoping everyone out. Neither are gays and lesbians. Get over it.
If shower time is uncomfortable in the locker room, it’s because of the homophobic crap people have been taught and learned over the years and the unfounded fear of others that ensues.
It’s time to take a good look at the problem – homophobia – rather than continuing to blame gays and lesbians for simply wanting the right to be who we are out loud.
Speaker, Thought Provoker
© Copyright Annemarie Shrouder 2010